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The World in 2008

In: Business and Management

Submitted By simonique15
Words 89030
Pages 357
EDITOR'S INTRODUCTION
Two big events will frame the year ahead: America’s presidential election and the summer Olympic games in Beijing. The race for the White House will be a marathon, from the front-loaded primary season in January and February to the general election in November. The betting is that the winner will be a Democrat—with a strong chance that a Clinton will again be set to succeed a Bush as leader of the free world. China, meanwhile, will hope to use the Olympics to show the world what a splendid giant it has become. It will win the most gold medals, and bask in national pride and the global limelight. But it will also face awkward questions on its repressive politics. America and China will be prime players in the matters that will concentrate minds around the world in 2008. One of these is the world economy, which can no longer depend on America, with its housing and credit woes, to drive growth. America should—just—avoid recession, but it will be China (for the first time the biggest contributor to global growth) along with India and other emerging markets that will shine. Another focus of attention will be climate change. As China replaces America as the world’s biggest producer of greenhouse gases, serious efforts on global warming depend on the serious involvement of those two countries. If 2007 was the year when this rose to the top of the global agenda, in 2008 people will expect action. It is striking that green is a theme that links all the contributions from political leaders in this volume, whether at the city level (Michael Bloomberg), the national level (Felipe Calderón, Nancy Pelosi, Nicolas Sarkozy) or the supranational level (the UN’s Ban Ki-moon, ASEAN’s Surin Pitsuwan). The politicians have talked the issue up; will they now let people down? A third preoccupation will be geopolitical risk. The conventional wisdom is that America is...

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